It can be distressing to feel like no one in your life sticks around very long, especially romantic partners or friends. It’s hard to say exactly why people leave us sometimes, but it may be the result of behaviors that push people away. We may not realize it when it’s happening, but there are certain things we do that have a negative effect on our relationships. Here are a few bad behaviors that we need to recognize and correct if we want people to stick around.
If you generally believe you’re right in most situations or find you only consider your own feelings and not the feelings of others, you’re acting egotistically. This behavior drives people away because they do not feel considered by you and, therefore, not cared for in the relationship.
Psychology expert Stella Grizont says one way to overcome ego is to practice gratitude, stating “There’s another way to see your situation and another way for you to be.” Take in the reality and different perspectives surrounding you to find that there is more to the world than just what you feel on a personal level.
There is a healthy amount of dependence that happens in any relationship. Humans are made for community, and there are things we need from others and things others need from us. If you are too dependent, however, you may drive people away. This can be defined as being “needy”. The problem lies in your dependence without being dependable. It is not an equal partnership and that’s why other’s won’t put up with it.
One way to overcome this behavior is to make a point to try and help others. This behavioral change has the potential to make you and others feel good. Marianna Pogosyan, Ph.D., explains “One reason behind the positive feelings associated with helping others is that being pro-social reinforces our sense of relatedness to others, thus helping us meet our most basic psychological needs.” By helping others, you can go from pushing people away to fostering an overwhelming sense of community!
This one is complicated because we all feel insecure and need validation sometimes. If you always look to others to make you feel better about yourself, you may risk pushing people away. Security and confidence come from within you. Leon F. Seltzer, Ph. D. is a clinical psychologist who states insecurity in relationships often stems from past wounds and says “
Ultimately, however, it’s we ourselves who must repair, from within, whatever has been broken or failed to develop properly.” If you want to stop pushing people away, work on your confidence, and your relationship with yourself. It’ll make a huge difference in your life.
If you are easily set off by small things, you may be struggling with an anger issue. This does not make you unworthy of friendships or love, but it does mean you have to work on yourself if you want to stop pushing people away.
Dr. Seltzer points out that anger is often “self- defeating” and states that it is far more beneficial to you and those around you if you re-asses the situations that make you angry. Then, you will be able to act calmly and accordingly. It might take professional help, but it’s absolutely worth it for your sake and the sake of those who love you but are having a hard time being around you.